More than 18,000 acres of the Florida Everglades has burned in not quite 48 hours


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The Everglades is burning, the Florida Forest Service says.

For nearly two days, a sawgrass fire has ripped through some of Florida's undeveloped nature areas. Roughly 18,500 acres of the Everglades have burned after lightning ignited the fire around 6 p.m. Sunday, officials say.

As of late Monday night, 23 percent of the fire had been contained. At that time the fire was about eight miles west of the city of Weston, and just more than a mile north of Interstate-75 and about four miles west of U.S. 27.

No road closures have been reported at this time, but drivers in the area are being asked to use caution due to smoky conditions. No injuries have been reported.

Brush fires occur in the Everglades somewhat regularly – in December, roughly 2,300 acres burned – but the current sawgrass fire is especially large.

According to the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, large wildfires in the U.S. on average burn more than twice the area than they did in 1970 due to the ongoing effects of our climate crisis. Since 2000, 11 forest fires that have occurred across the U.S. have caused at least $1 billion in damages apiece, mostly due to home losses and firefighting costs.

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